Earlyguard is a big favourite here at Uke Hunt. I’ve already tabbed his tunes Busy Bee and Blue Smoke. Yesterday he released an album of his ambient and atmospheric tunes Time To Relax which you can download it for free at his MySpace.
Earlyguard’s music is far removed from the ‘rata-tat-tat’ delivery of most ukulele songs. When I asked him about how he developed his style he was typically self-effacing, “I’m not able to play the usual style. My fingers are too slow and my knowledge of the usual playing techniques is still at the very beginning.” His style is very distinctive. It’s the first style I know of that is unique to the electric ukulele (rather than sounding like an amplified acoustic-uke or an electric guitar). All but two of the tracks on Time To Relax were record with his trusty RISA Uke-Solid.
It’s hard to believe but Earlyguard (the name is a translation of his surname, Fruhwacht) only started to play the ukulele at the beginning of this year after commandeering a ukulele he had given his daughter for Christmas. Since then he has produced new tunes in rapid succession. As well as the tunes on this album, you can hear many more on his MySpace and his YouTube channel.
Earlyguard’s influences may not be what you’d expect, “I love music of all styles. The Beatles as well as Metallica for example. I don’t like ‘New Age’ music that much but it’s funny that my own music could be described that way.” Indeed, it was The Beatles that inspired his uke playing, “Watching the beautiful Concert For George tribute on DVD where Paul McCartney played Something on a ukulele – this was the point for me – the wish to play this lovely instrument took over.”
As well as his solo work, Earlyguard is one half of Earlywolf, “Earlywolf is a relationship with WS64 and some friends as guest musicians. It started at Ukulelenboard where I posted a song at the ‘membersound’ section in January. WS liked it very much and asked if we could do some songs together. I recorded many songs in the past years (2004-2005) with my GarageBand software and WS took the single tracks and re-recorded and re-arranged them. His musical skills are extraordinary and so he did a fantastic job I think. On some songs we asked some friends to play a solo or do better vocals than me and it was great fun to work this way.” You can download the resulting album free at earlywolf.com.
I’ve only had Earlyguard’s album for 24 hours but I’m already chilled out and relaxed. I highly recommend you take a little time to relax and head over to his MySpace and download it.